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BBC World News

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Israel 21, U.s. 13, New York 10, Us 9, America 8, U.n. 8, Un 7, Obama 6, Troy Davis 6, United Nations 6, Washington 3, Singapore 3, Davis 2, Greece 2, Sarah Shourd 2, Shane Bauer 2, Newman 2, Joshua Fattal 2, France 2, Palestine 2,
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  PBS    BBC World News    News/Business.  
   International issues. New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    September 21, 2011
    6:00 - 6:30pm PDT  

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>> this is "bbc world news." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you?
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>> and now, "bbc world news >> hello and welcome to "newsday." >> the headlines this hour. >> president obama tells the u.n. that palestinian demands for recognition must be heard, but only talks with israel can bring peace. israel pulls the bbc why the palestinian leadership needs to talk to israel. >> , the one security and independence. the want independence without security again. >> vigils in america as the supreme court continues an appeal to stop the execution of troy davis. reunited. americans charged with espionage have been freed by iran. >> it is, can in the morning in singapore. >> -- it is 10:00 in the morning
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in singapore. >> this is "newsday." >> president obama has told a news session of the united nations general assembly there is no shortcut to peace in the middle east. this session looks likely to be dominated by palestinian demands for full statehood, to be submitted in writing. president obama has called for more direct talks between palestinians and israelis. there are warnings of the american stance could provoke a new cycle of violence. jeremy bowen reports from new york. >> middle east diplomacy temporarily transferred to new york can snarl up traffic. but it seems unable to match
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the challenges of a conflict that is once again looking dangerous. >> it is time for us to say not on our watch. >> supporters of both sides were there. israel is keeping pressure on the obama administration to veto any palestinian application for u.n. membership. pro palestinians pushing for a seat of the un has a giant step toward independence. even with the prospect of an american veto, palestinians are climbing some victories. they have put back the issue not just of u.n. membership, but their independence on an international agenda. a year ago, president obama called for palestinian statehood in 12 months. if anything, it looks further away now than it is then. his strong message was that palestinian membership at the un would bring peace no closer.
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>> peace will not come through statements at the united nations. if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. ultimately, it is the israelis and palestinians who must live side by side. ultimately, it is the israelis and palestinians who must reach agreement on borders and security, refugees and jerusalem. >> president obama praised the way arabs in tunisia, egypt, and libya seized their freedom. on tv at the palestinian delegation hotel, they believe americans are blocking their attempt to do the same thing. >> he talked about the arab spring. there was no human empathy. he talked about human empathy for the israelis. they are our occupiers.
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for us, we are supposed to sit back and take it. >> on the west bank, occupied by israel since 1967, palestinians demonstrated for their unc. there was a hint of what might happen if the diplomatic stalemate continues. the french president warned the veto could cause another cycle of violence. in new york, a great fall israeli prime minister went to tell the u.s. president that opposing the palestinian application was a bad job on us. america's president left for his next meeting. the old song about new york says that if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. that does not apply to making middle east peace. there was nothing to sing about today. questioningly from u.n. headquarters in new york is our correspondent. -- joining me from u.n. headquarters in new york is our correspondent. what is the purpose ofñ going to
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the security council when they know the u.s. will veto? >> i think it is the most dramatic thing they can do to show how unhappy they are with u.s.-led peace negotiations. they have said they are ready to negotiate with israel, but the terms do not get them what they want. particularly, they are going to go back to talks, but israel continues to build settlements in land and what for the state. they need at least a basis for the kind of territory they will have in the end, and israel has not agreed to either of those conditions. palestinians say it does not make sense from their point of view to move into talks without that. they have been pressing the americans to get that for them. the americans have not been able to do so. because they are fed up, they are going to the security council. it is politically impossible for the americans who support them there, because of the pro-israel
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constituency in the u.s. it may be difficult for some western states to support them. in terms of moral support, it is the right thing, from their point of view. the question of palestine started at the un it is the venue for universal rights. that is the message they are sending. >> barbara, france has stepped into this debate. they are offering a compromise solution that palestinians be granted observer status. what did the palestinians have to say about that? >> i think the americans' main concern would be to keep it out of the consider to council -- out of the security council, which in the application for full membership has to do, america has said it will be to it. america does not want to do that. it would look as if america was defending the occupation of
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palestinian land. the second solution, to go to the general assembly of the un, as an observer, as the french said -- that would be a better solution for the americans. it is certainly a solution they have been talking about a lot here. the palestinian president's credibility is on , they say. he will submit his allocations and see what happens. they could go for the observer state of great after all. >> new details of tough austerity measures to secure continued backing from greek treasurer -- from exporters.
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workers will be told to stay home on 60% salary. if they do not find new jobs in the year, they will be fired. there will be further cuts to pension and greeks will have to pay more taxes. >> in greece has just hours to somehow convince its cleansers -- its lenders of last resort to keep the country afloat. greek papers have already forecast the wholesale sacking, which cuts, and rises in heating and fuel tax. >> the danger is not that our income has been reduced. the danger is not that the pensions are being reduced, or the value of property. the danger is not that the real- estate market might disintegrate, or that we will have problems in other sectors of production. the danger is for the whole system to collapse. >> the potential collapse is
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worry in portugal, one of the next in line on the credit periphery of europe. >> we are on the edge of a situation of great uncertainty. we are speaking about the possible default by a european union states. this situation could bring disastrous consequences to portugal, particularly in terms of finance, banking and our economy. it is a situation we need to the effect. >> workers are defined and do not support government efforts. >> that are trying to destroy our lives, and those of our children. everybody must join the fight. united, we will win. the government can agree to accelerate its austerity program, but history suggests it might not be able to deliver.
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nigel cassidy, bbc news. >> what is the latest from the u.s. on the case of troy davis, the convicted killer due to be executed in georgia. >> the execution has been delayed. troy davis was being executed by lethal injection two hours ago. the u.s. supreme court is now weighing arguments as to whether he deserves a reprieve. the court could decide at any time whether to go through with this execution. troy davis was convicted of killing a policeman in 1989. many witnesses have since changed or recanted their testimony, raising doubts over his guilt. i will switch over to washington, where jane o'brien is following this. any idea how long this delay
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will be? >> everybody is waiting. a lot of troy davis supporters say it this alone amounts to cruel and inhuman treatment -- treatment. as we understand it, two hours ago, he would have been strapped to the gurney. in the bill would have been inserted into his arm, ready for the lethal injection. to all appearances, that is where he is right now, working for the supreme court to decide whether to stay his execution. lots of people gathering outside the high security prison where he is being held. we've seen activity in the last few minutes, heavily armed police numbers increasing. a lot of police vehicles with flashing lights, moving into the area. it could just mean the police presence is being built up because of a number of
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protesters and the heightened state of emotion. or it could be in readiness for an announcement. we do not know. everybody is just waiting. >> this is not to do with new evidence, is it? >> this is a simple appeal to stay the execution. this is because lawyers, legal experts, many advocates, and human rights groups say there is too much doubt to convict and carry out a sentence of death on troy davis. it has been a very tough case. the verdict was brought purely on the basis of eyewitness accounts. the trouble is the vast majority of those witnesses subsequently recanted their evidence. there have been three other stays of execution while appeals were made. in all those appeals, troy davis has failed to prove his innocence.
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in the last ruling, the judge said that even taking into account the changed testimony, it was still clear that troy davis was guilty and there was enough evidence to proceed with the death sentence. >> thanks very much. >> you are watching "newsday." still to come, reunited with friends and family. americans charged with espionage been freed by iran. >> former south african gold miners are suing a subsidiary of anglo-american in london. they say they suffered lung disease because of exposure to high levels of dust. all that glitters is gold for an industry that was once a mainstay of the south african economy. miners who worked underground were exposed by hours to dust and dirt.
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a crippling one disease known as silicosis. a south african subsidiary that once employed them, now being sued for negligence by flooding safety rules. >> this is a serious public health epidemic in south africa. >> with thousands working in the mines to the late 1990's, this could have widespread applications. anglo-american does not believe it is in any way liable to be silicosis claim, and is defending the actions. anglo-american maintains the gold companies were responsible for the health and safety of their employees and took reasonable steps to protect them. as many as one in five former miners have the lung disease, according to a series of medical studies. lawyers argue the risks have
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been known for decades. claims have been presented to a court thousands of miles away in britain, where anglo-american is based. the case could be one of the biggest of its kind. this african -- the south american case could see court. >> for more, visit the bbc website for the latest. >> this is "newsday." >> our headlines. president obama has told the united nations there is no shortcut to peace in the middle east, speaking against a campaign for the un membership. >> greece is making further cuts to pensions and state jobs as it tries to deal with its debt
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crisis. >> let us go back to our top story, where palestinian president of loss is expected to ask for full u.n. membership before he leaves the york. -- new york. we have been speaking to shimon peres, president of israel. >> how should we negotiate with the palestinians or open channels? the problem is the international channels including the united nations cannot answer the question of how to provide independence to the palestinians and how to provide security to israel. they do not want the security pick their way -- there will not be security and will not be independence. since the united nations cannot deal with the security issues, it is an empty declaration. i am not speaking against the palestinians.
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i think for them and for us peace is possible. the best way is direct talks. there are difficulties in how to open it. we have to overcome them. >> you have been involved in the peace process since its inception. nobody doubts your commitment. we have a government in israel today in power which many people do doubt its commitment to a realistic peace offer for the palestinians. surely that is the nub of the problem. >> i think differently, but i take your position. if you think there is not a majority for peace, peace is the majority. we have to come with a package of peace instead of a collection of doubts and contrasts. that, i think, is wise. it is happening on the
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palestinian side. nothing will unite the palestinians better than peace. turmoil will delight -- will divide them. peace will unite them. >> how concerned are you by israel's isolation in the region, but increasingly elsewhere in the world as well? >> there are elements of reservations in other countries, but i would not say in general. we will solve it. i want resolution. >> but it is corrosive on israel's relations with egypt, with turkey, with the european union. this is real, is it not? >> yes. in spite of all that, i want to make peace for good reasons of my own. we were not going -- the best solution for us is to have to
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states, palestinian and israeli. i think we are not far away from it. >> israel's president speaking to the bbc. we will talk to a former state department advisory on mideast affairs. he has a foundation close to the u.s. administration on issues of national security. why is president obama so eager to move any discussion about a palestinian state away from the un? >> having a vote at the un would put the u.s. in a difficult diplomatic position. essentially, if there is a vote, the wells -- the u.s. will veto it and isolate itself from international communities. but the administration is trying to do is delay a vote. if the palestinians go forward in offering their petition for statehood for an observer's
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seat, that would be good. >> why is america adamant it would veto about? why is it so against doing this to the united nations? with the theory is that the two parties should be able to negotiate a peace agreement between themselves. they have not shown the capacity to do so. president obama has heavily engaged in diplomacy to try to get the parties together. that said, there is a dismay from most palestinians about the future for negotiations. the arab spring is creating a new dynamic in the palestinian territories, the demand for more openness and the ability to have their own country. the u.s. is between a rock and a hard place. at the same time, they are worried about defending israel, creating a more isolated israel in the region, and domestic
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support for israel is really strong. there is a worry of offending a key constituency. >> isn't there an argument that israel and the u.s. would have positive international perception if they supported this? the arab spring -- so much has changed in the region. would you not say this is positive for the u.s. and israel? >> it could be. it is possible that if israel were to vote for this and actually negotiate with the palestinians, they could find agreeable language that could give hope to a positive outcome between the parties. but that is not likely. the israeli government has made clear from the beginning that they oppose this move and are not going to work to get a tax i can agree to. while it would be a positive for
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israel, they will control the same territory but will have been good will behind it. that is not going to happen. it will be a difficult scenario following the u.n. action, whether there is a vote or not. >> thanks for sharing your views. to americans torque with espionage have now been freed by iran. tell us more. >> shane bauer and joshua fattal were detained while hiking along the iran-iraq border in 2009. a companion was released in 2010. they have been released on bail. laura trevelyan reports. >> the joy of freedom. the released u.s. hikers race into the arms of their waiting families, after the pain of
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being apart. this is the day they have all been waiting for. shane bauer and joshua fattal are finally free. >> we are so happy and relieved we are free. our deepest gratitude goes toward his majesty of oman for obtaining our release. we are sincerely grateful to the government of oman for hosting us and our family. >> two years in prison is too long. we sincerely hope for the freedom of other political prisoners in america and iran. thank you very much. >> they were arrested with a third american, sarah shourd, in a remote region which is the unmarked border between iran and iraq. the americans were accused as spies. they said they were simply hiking in northern iraq. sarah shourd was released last
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year on grounds of ill health. she told the bbc she and her friends could not have been spies. >> none of us spoke farsi. we had no equipment. it was clear we had no intention to come to iran and were no threat. >> the families were allowed to meet briefly last year. relatives are calling today the best day of their lives, saying their relief and joy knows no bounds. ahmadinejad is in new york for the un general assembly. he said this hours before the release. >> we did not make the decision under pressure. it is a humanitarian decision. >> this case has deepened the mistrust between tehran and washington. relations have been poor since the 1979 islamic revolution. a retired u.s. ambassador who tried to persuade our ron to release the hiker's says they want better relations.
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>> they want to be part of the world. they want respect for their civilization, their culture, their way of life. they understand that they are a great power in a changed middle east. >> the question now is whether the release of u.s. hikers is an olive branch or just a gesture designed to make president ahmadinejad looked good as he appears at the un. bbc news, washington. >> you have been watching " newsday." i am in singapore. >> and a reminder of our main news. president obama has said america will veto any application by palestine to be granted statehood by the u.n. security council. france is proposing a compromise, if a request for membership is not vetoed. you can follow both of us on twitter. have a look.
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>> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> union bank offers unique
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insight and expertise in a range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles. 
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